International

Back

Nassau dream alive for ABBA's Benny Andersson as on-song Lavender's Blue scores

There was no sign of ABBA's Benny Andersson among the owners back on course at Kempton but his homebred mare Lavender's Blue kept his dream of winning the Group 1 Nassau Stakes at Goodwood in the summer alive with a comfortable win in the Listed Unibet-backed Snowdrop Fillies' Stakes. 

Winning trainer Amanda Perrett has her season all mapped out, with the Group 2 Dahlia Stakes at Newmarket on May 2 next, followed by Royal Ascot and then on to the Nassau at the end of July, where Andersson and as many of his friends as he likes will hopefully be allowed to attend.

"We've had a good run in and it's great to get her back on the board again because she's a very talented filly," said Perrett. "She loves Newmarket and as long as the ground is okay she'll go for the Dahlia next and then Ascot, but my plan is still at our local track [Goodwood] in the summer."

She added: "We've always thought she'd get the mile and a quarter and Mr Andersson would love to win the Nassau, so we'll have another try this year."

Easter treat for Gosden

John Gosden could not help but reminisce about the days when the Unibet-backed conditions stakes was better known as the Easter Stakes and run in front of a bumper holiday crowd at Kempton. 

Well the name may have been consigned to history and we are not quite there with the crowds yet, but Gosden nevertheless made sure there was a winner worth writing about as Mostahdaf maintained his unbeaten record under Robert Havlin.

"He's a nice, progressive mile-and-a-quarter-horse," said Gosden after sharing a bit of history on the Easter Stakes. "He's a little babyish still and was a little reckless in the gate, so we'll work on that.

"He might be good enough for the Hampton Court at Royal Ascot but we'll see."

Gosden suffered a reversal in the conditions stakes for fillies, formerly run as the Masaka Stakes, with 1,000 Guineas entry and odds-on favourite Kestenna comfortably outpointed by the William Haggas-trained Lilac Road, who was bouncing back from a disappointing effort in the Group 1 Fillies' Mile on her last start at two.

"She didn't enjoy the really soft ground at the back end last year," said assistant trainer Maureen Haggas. "I think she's pretty versatile really and she's a good, solid filly. She stays this trip really well and we'll probably stick at a mile and maybe later in the year she can step up in trip."

James Doyle came in for the winning ride with Cieren Fallon late to arrive at the track due to traffic. 

Hannon and Charlton strike

Richard Hannon was off the mark for the season with his juveniles at just the second time of asking when Dukebox made a winning debut in the 5f novice stakes, while the more seasoned Sleeping Lion made his first start for Roger Charlton a winning one in the 2m Queen's Prize.

Share/Bookmark